24 April 2018

According to John Suffolk, (Teaching primary mathematics) for many people their early encounters with mathematics induce fear and resentment. Their memories of mathematics often involve remembering long chains of unrelated figures and formulae and other apparently meaningless facts. However there are many ways to overcome this and make their mathematics activities fulfilling.

Teach vocabulary

It helps verbal learners especially; get learners to build a word bank for each section of work, with descriptions, definitions and diagrams. Relate new concepts to previous concepts.

Play the game of 30 seconds using concepts, definitions and diagrams as the clues. Divide all the clues into the different Math sections like algebra, calculus, geometry etc.  depending on the grade of the learners. Follow the normal 30 Seconds rules. Learners could either give the concept for a definition, the definition of a concept or naming a diagram.

Teach learners to reason

Maths is about problem solving, so teach learners to reason to come to the answers. Remember that there is usually more than one way to reason correctly.

Avoid teaching ‘tricks’ to get to the correct answer. Being able to reason will stand them in good stead in later years of Maths.

Challenge learners to think deeply about the problems they are solving, reaching beyond the solutions and procedures required to solve the problem. This ensures that learners are explaining both how they found their solution and why they chose a particular method of solution. Reasoning helps learners to think critically. Use group or pair discussions on the problem being solved.

Pose questions that stimulate their curiosity and will encourage them to investigate further.

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